URBASOFIA - Portfolio

Selected works. For more, visit www.urbasofia.eu

Selected works. For more, visit www.urbasofia.eu


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U R B A SOFIA<br />

Bucharest town & regional<br />

planning company<br />

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when knowledge gives direc ons

C o n t<br />

Urbasofia is a town and regional planning company based in Bucharest, Romania. Based on its experience in<br />

urban and territorial issues, the company is a laboratory for urban development, policy design and territorial<br />

cohesion focused on developing more integrated, participatory and smart-oriented solutions to pressing<br />

urban problems. Being highly interested in innovation within the cities and regions, Urbasofia has been<br />

involved over time in the development and management of several EU-funded projects, strongly connected<br />

to smart cities, strategic integrated planning, urban regeneration as well as the social impact assessment of<br />

current urban issues and new ICT solutions under development.

1. Cities and metropolitan areas (recent coordinated strategic plans)<br />

Integrated plan for Cluj-Napoca Metropolitan Area<br />

Baia Mare Metropolitan Agenda<br />

e n t s .<br />

Alba Iulia 2030 Strategy<br />

Strategic plan of Kavala<br />

2. Macro-regional cooperation projects<br />

Attractive Danube (Interreg - on territorial attractiveness)<br />

3. Applied research projects<br />

HORIZON2020 - Rock (cultural heritage and urban regeneration)<br />

HORIZON2020 - proGIreg (nature based solutions for urban renewal)<br />

Urbact - Refill (temporary uses) . BoostInno (social innovation)

Cities and metropolitan areas<br />

Integrated plan for Cluj-Napoca Metropolitan Area<br />

The new integrated strategic plan for the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area represents, firstly, a change of paradigm under the conceptual umbrella<br />

“Problems first!”. We do not start neither from foreign concepts and thinking patterns that are against local level thinking or the financing<br />

opportunities that can orient the vision of local politics towards the development of un-needed projects. On the contrary, we have pursued the<br />

development of a strategic plan that looks beyond the bureaucratic and technical substantiation of the use of grant funds, capable of attracting and<br />

creating opportunities for private investments, through an inclusive and perspective process.<br />

We have approached these challenges with the aid of a dialogue-oriented methodology, already experimented in other European cities – the STATUS<br />

Project methodology. In this approach, the decision is shared between essential stakeholders, in a participative planning process. The local<br />

communities are, first of all, the protagonists of the planning process, co-designing the strategic plan along with the public institutions.<br />

The new strategic plan for the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area is not a set of documents and a list of projects, but a permanent process which<br />

launches a multi-actor metropolitan dialogue based on the creation of a Metropolitan Task Force for the area, open towards all interested parties and<br />

based in a Metropolitan Centre.<br />



Cities and metropolitan areas<br />

Baia Mare Metropolitan Agenda<br />

Title: Baia Mare Metropolitan Area Integrated Strategic Agenda 2030<br />

Acronym: BMMA 2030<br />

Beneficiary: Baia Mare Metropolitan Area Association for Intercommunity Development through SEE Project STATUS<br />

The Strategic Territorial Agenda for the Baia Mare Metropolitan Area took into consideration all of the 18 localities, members in the intercommunity<br />

development association (Baia Mare, three towns and 13 communes). This approach aimed to overtake and to settle the multiple pressures resulting<br />

from the changes in the economic system, in the development and planning system, from the distortions and diversified needs in the urban area, as<br />

well as in the adjacent rural area, in order to create a development nucleus in a coherent network at territorial level. Following the STATUS<br />

methodology for a participatory definition of the agenda (three public workshops, the constitution of a Metropolitan Task force), we designed the<br />

following objectives for BMMA:<br />

A. Functional urban area with competitive economic concentrations, innovative and logistic centres, strongly connected to the external markets<br />

B. Smart specialization and consolidating the innovative process in a synergic „4-leaf clover” system, sustained by research and formation<br />

C. Local sustainable development based on partnerships and strong urban-rural connections, by stimulating productive agriculture and eco-tourism<br />

D. Integrated and sustainable public services systems, including transportation<br />

E. Smart governance and the stimulation of active participation at ZMBM level<br />



Cities and metropolitan areas<br />

Alba Iulia 2030 Strategy<br />

Title: Integrated Strategic Urban Agenda Alba Iulia 2030<br />

Acronym: Alba Iulia 2030<br />

Beneficiary: Alba Iulia Association for Intercommunity Development through STATUS Project<br />

A general strategy for the area has been developed before the STATUS project, the municipality (main associate) and the county capital - Alba Iulia -<br />

lacked a strategic document to guide its development in the years to come. By entering the STATUS project, AIDA aims at developing a tool to<br />

support Alba Iulia (the "other capital" of Romania) in shaping the integrated urban development agenda, in line with the current and current<br />

realities for the 2014-2020 programming period.<br />

The STATUS process is part of a higher concerted action aiming to modernize the city and its surroundings, which began in the last programming<br />

period, when Alba Iulia has managed to attract nearly 150 million euros of structural funds, an amount , for a middle-sized city inhabited by 63500<br />

people, was an important achievement in mitigating the effects of the financial crisis. As partners to develop participatory process local in Alba Iulia,<br />

as well as the agenda of strategy building, we were commissioned to provide the city with a development agenda, STRATEGICS, commonly approved<br />

and undertaken by all stakeholders, and to generate the following range of large scale cross-cutting projects to be implemented during the 2014-<br />

2020 programming period. Our global vision was to: linking, integrating and capitalizing on previous point investments,improvement and<br />

technical correlation, economic and social development through risk mitigation,change governance paradigm and participation by applying an EUwide<br />

co-design methodology developed by STATUS.<br />



Cities and metropolitan areas<br />

Strategic Plan of Kavala<br />

Title: Integrated Strategic Urban Agenda for Kavala 2030<br />

Acronym: Kavala 2030<br />

Beneficiary: Municipality of Kavala, Greece through SEE Project STATUS<br />

It was the aim of the Agenda to not only provide the city with a strategic development document endorsed by all stakeholders and based on the<br />

above-mentioned key pillars, but to also to generate the next line up of transversal, large scale projects to be implemented in the 2014-2020<br />

programming period, pursuing the use of structural funds as well as the development of partnerships and favorable conditions for private<br />

investment. For the STATUS Agenda to reap the desired benefits in Kavala, initiatives were foreseen which would:<br />

A. Ensure seamless integration of existing and new proposed urban functions (e.g. public open spaces, the Urban Center, existing and proposed<br />

touristic facilities);<br />

B. Provide the instruments, temporal and financial framework for Kavala to achieve its goals and develop its cultural, heritage, touristic and<br />

economic potential;<br />

C. Ensure that development happens concomitant with the protection and valorisation of the ample natural resources within the Municipality<br />

(especially in the Eastern area) and the outstanding cultural heritage at Philippi, for which a UNESCO application has been submitted recently;<br />

D. Provide the mechanism for direct participation of key stakeholder groups, in a process of co-design rather than of consultation or informing, for a<br />

long-term good governance construction in Kavala.<br />



Macro-regional cooperation<br />

projects<br />

Attractive Danube<br />

Title: Strengthening Capatities to Enhance Territorial Attractiveness of the Danube Region<br />


Funding: Interreg Danube Transnational Programme, PA4. Well governed Danube region<br />

Lead Applicant: Geodetic Institute of Slovenia<br />

ATTRACTIVE DANUBE aims at strengthening multi-level and transnational governance and institutional capacities of policy planners involved in<br />

territorial development by establishing a permanent common transnational platform for monitoring territorial attractiveness (TAMP – Territorial<br />

Attractiveness Monitoring Platform). Through good governance, Danube region’s policies can create conditions for maximising the potentials of<br />

territorial assets and capitals for development, thus increasing the attractiveness of territories for its residents, visitors and businesses.<br />

The main project objective is to strengthen multilevel and transnational governance and institutional capacities of policy planners involved in<br />

territorial development of the Danube Region, which will result in more harmonised governance system of the area. This will be achieved by firstly<br />

establishing a permanent common transnational platform for monitoring territorial attractiveness (CO-TAMP), 11 national platforms (TAMP), and<br />

Territorial attractiveness atlas. Secondly, we will implement an intensive capacity building programme for empowering multilevel public authorities<br />

and civil society in 11 countries related to development planning resulting in enhanced skills and knowledge. Finally, the policy integration process,<br />

including transnational workshops, policy recommendations and memorandum of understanding, will capitalise the results and assure the longterm<br />

impact and leverage effect in the society.<br />



Applied research projects<br />

HORIZON2020 - ROCK (cultural heritage &<br />

urban regeneration)<br />

Title: Regeneration and Optimisation of Cultural heritage in creative and Knowledge cities<br />

Acronym: ROCK<br />

Funding: Horizon 2020 | H2020-SC5-2016-2017<br />

Lead Applicant: Comune di Bologna<br />

ROCK aims to develop an innovative, collaborative and systemic approach to effective regeneration and adaptive reuse strategies in historic city<br />

centres. By implementing a repertoire of successful heritage-led regeneration initiatives, it will test the replicability of a spatial approach and of<br />

successful models addressing the specific needs of historic city centres. ROCK will deliver new ways to access and experience Cultural Heritage [CH]<br />

ensuring environmental sound solutions, city branding, bottom-up participation via living labs, while increasing accessibility and safety in the<br />

involved areas. The added value is the combination of sustainable models, integrated site management plans and associated funding mechanisms<br />

encouraging PPP, based on successful financial schemes and promoting the creation of industry-driven stakeholders’ ecosystems in 7 Role Model<br />

cities (Lyon, Turin, Liverpool, Vilnius, Cluj, Athens, Eindhoven) and 3 Replicator cities (Lisbon, Skopje, Bologna).<br />

Urbasofia is mainly responsible for the Implementation of Role Model Initiatives through the application of ROCK technologies and tools, aiming to<br />

redefine the accessibility to public space facilities, cultural institutions and architectural monuments through location based services while<br />

addressing environmental changes, enhancing the potential for developing new local economies, as well as enabling local governance capacities<br />

and efficiency.<br />



Applied research projects<br />

HORIZON2020 - proGIreg (nature based<br />

solutions for urban renewal)<br />

ProGIreg uses nature for urban regeneration with and for citizens and stands for ‘productive Green Infrastructure for post-industrial urban<br />

regeneration’: nature for renewal. Dortmund (Germany), Turin (Italy), Zagreb (Croatia) and Ningbo (China) host Living Labs: post-industrial areas of<br />

those cities where innovative new nature-based solutions are co-developed and tested with the communities living there.Local communities of the<br />

Living Labs are central to this project and involved at all stages from design to implementation. Since there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model, local<br />

knowledge is essential for local adaptation of the nature-based solutions. A key aim is therefore to push-start citizen-ownership, so that impact is<br />

long-term and benefits future generations. ProGIreg’s follower cities Cascais (Portugal), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Piraeus (Greece) and Zenica (Bosnia-<br />

Herzegovina) will closely follow the co-creation process ongoing in the front-runner cities, share and exchange ideas and plans, and replicate the<br />

nature-based solutions developed by the front-runner cities. Since each city has its own locally specific post-industrial challenges, the follower cities<br />

will be involved in the research and design of the models; this ensures that the solutions can be adapted and tailored to the needs of different cities.<br />

In addition to the cities, a global network of observer cities, NGOs, research institutions, the private sector and individual citizens and activists will<br />

have the opportunity to learn from the project, both in-person at conferences, through visits to the Living Labs, and on open-source platforms. Key<br />

aims are to spread awareness of the potential of nature-based solutions, promote market up-take and to feed the results into EU policies and<br />

strategies, so that nature-based solutions become the norm and not the exception.<br />



Applied research projects<br />

URBACT - BoostINNO (social innovation)<br />

- Refill (temporary uses)<br />

Urbasofia has been involved in several URBACT projects, which are listed above:<br />

BoostINNO (social innovation) - aims to strengthen city social innovation eco-systems, by developing deeper relations and organising the results of<br />

the exchange of information and knowledge for the sustainable management and development of cities.<br />

Refill (temporary uses) - aims to upscale and diffuse the urban practice of temporary use of vacant buildings and land and intensify the temporary<br />

experiences by investigating the various action beyond temporality. As such, the REFILL network’s objective is to go one step beyond what has been<br />

achieved previously and to contribute to a wider quest for new governance models to support temporary use.<br />

SubUrban (planning for urban places) - aims to search an innovative and collaborative solution to the following challenge: How can we make<br />

existing 20th-century urban tissue attractive and qualitative again? How can we add a different urban layer?’’ By reconverting the 20th-century<br />

neighbourhoods, it will create a more sustainable and attractive environment. The network partners are all united through the pressure on urban<br />

tissue due to rapid growth today or uncontrolled growth in the past that resulted in high densities or mono-functional areas.<br />

LUMASEC (land use management) - deals with strategic land use management, as it is one of the most important topics for competitiveness,<br />

attractiveness and sustainability of European city-regions.<br />

TUTUR (temporary uses and urban regeneration) - has aimed at introducing the method of temporary use in urban regeneration to cities<br />

participating in the network.<br />


Smart neighbourhood<br />

civic educa on<br />

+<br />

SOCIAL<br />

Orașul<br />

Vechi<br />

I. Consolida ng the system of<br />

social innova on<br />

II. Ac vated community and<br />

local iden ty<br />

III. S mula ng the civic<br />

educa on level and developing<br />

new entrepreneurial skills<br />

partnership facilita on<br />

financial ressources<br />

ac vated community<br />

events & ac vi es<br />

urban accupuncture projects<br />

non-formal educa onal programme<br />


THANK YOU!<br />

R<br />

<strong>URBASOFIA</strong> Office:<br />

Iancu de Hunedoara Bd, no. 2, bl. H6<br />

Bucharest, Romania<br />

B<br />

o<br />

when knowledge gives direc ons<br />

Contact us:<br />

office@urbasofia.eu<br />

+40 371 300 956<br />


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